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When talking about Chiang Mai and sights, it usually refers to the countless temples around the city. No matter what hotel or guesthouse you are staying in, the nearest temple is most likely just a few minutes walk away.

Chiang Mai – 10 temples that are worth a visit

Of course, Chiang Mai has several other attractions besides the temples and is also known for its jungle trekking. But today I would like to introduce you to some of the most beautiful temples in the city.

How to get to Chiang Mai

Accommodation in Chiang Mai – our hotel tip

Room in the T-Heritage Hotel in Chiang Mai
Room in the T-Heritage Hotel

Chiang Mai: Tours and tickets

1. Wat Rajamontean

On the northern part of the road, which goes completely around the Old Town of Chiang Mai, you will find the Wat Rajamontean. It is definitely hard to miss as it houses a large Buddha statue facing the street.

Wat Rajamontean (also known as Wat Morn Thean)

Often the temple is also referred to as Wat Morn Thean. In Thailand, temples have many different spellings – don’t let that confuse you. The huge Buddha was added in mid-2010 to the Wat Rajamontean and is thus relatively new.

The design of the temple is not typical Thai and contains many other style elements, which is probably due to the fact that many of the monks originally come from Laos. A different, but beautiful temple!

Admission: free of charge

2. Wat Lokmolee

Located directly opposite the Wat Rajamontean on the parallel street of the Old Town you can find the Wat Lokmolee. Not far away from Chang Phuak Gate. The temple was built in the 14th century and since then a few monks are living on site.

The Wat Lokmolee with its Chedi in the background

Even today, you can still meet some monks over there. The Chedi of the temple is – in contrast to the many golden Chedis of the other temples – kept very simple, but this gives a certain charm. Here you can spend some time and just enjoy the atmosphere.

The entrance of the Wat Lokmolee

Opening times: 6.00 A.M. to 5.00 P.M.
Admission: free of charge

3. Wat Chiang Yuen

About half a kilometer after the Wat Lokmolee you will see the Wat Chiang Yuen on the left hand side. It used to be the National Temple of the Kingdom of Chiang Mai. Today, it is best known for his Chedi with lion statues as a guardian and his great golden Buddha.

Wat Chiang Yuen, Chiang Mai

The huge Buddha of the Wat Chiang Yuen

Admission: free of charge

4. Wat Umong

The Wat Umong (the full name is Wat Umong Suan Phutthatham) is located just outside the center of Chiang Mai near the Doi Suthep mountains and is often referred to as the Forest Temple. It is unlike many of the city’s temples and still very natural.

The Wat Umong in Chiang Mai

On the grounds you won’t find magnificent temple buildings, but a bit of seclusion and tranquility. The monks who live there do it in harmony with nature. Under the huge Chedi you can discover a labyrinth of tunnels with many Buddha statues. After the tunnels, a staircase leads up to the impressive large Chedi.

The Chedi of the Wat Umong

Since the Wat Umong is located outside the Old Town of Chiang Mai, we can recommend you to explore the temple with a small group tour, if you don’t want to go there on your own.

Opening times: 4.00 A.M. to 9.00 P.M.
Admission: free of charge

5. Wat Sri Suphan

The Wat Sri Suphan is also often referred to as the Silver Temple, because it is home to a silver-covered Ubosot. As soon as you enter the temple complex, the silver Ubosot immediately catches your eye.

The entrance to the temple can be found on the same street where Walking Street takes place on Saturdays (Wualai Road). If you visit the temple during Walking Street in the evening, then the silver temple is also often colored and really great to see.

The silver Ubosot of the Wat Sri Suphan

If you want to learn something about the silver processing, then you can stop by the adjacent workshops to see how the images are cut into the silver. If you like you may also join in and see how the whole thing works.

In addition to the silver Ubosot, there are other buildings to see on site. The temple isn’t visited by many tourists unless it is Saturday and the Walking Street is taking place. Otherwise, you can enjoy a quiet atmosphere here. I would even say this temple is still an insider’s tip!

Admission: 50 baht (for the silver Ubosot)

6. Wat Jetlin

The Wat Jetlin, also known as Wat Chedlin, is situated in the Old Town of Chiang Mai near the Chiang Mai Gate.

At the entrance of the temple, a labyrinth is built for the Thai Loy Krathong, which you can walk through with some monk statues. Immediately after the labyrinth, you will find a huge Buddha head and on the right side a Chedi behind the temple building that reminds of Ayutthaya.

Most of the time you will be almost alone on the temple grounds, as not many visitors come by. But that’s just what makes it so special.

The Wat Jetlin in Chiang Mai

Opening times: 4.00 A.M. to 6.00 P.M.
Admission: free of charge

7. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Just outside of Chiang Mai lies the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep on Doi Suthep Mountain. For most visitors, this temple with its golden Chedi and wonderful views of Chiang Mai is a must-see.

The golden Chedi of the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Of course, we have visited it several times and told you about our temple visit in our article about the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep or: Chiang Mai from above.

If you are also interested in the mountain tribes that live on Doi Suthep, then we recommend to do a Doi Suthep tour including a visit to the temple.

Admission: 30 baht (the lift to the temple will cost 50 baht extra for round trip)

8. Wat Suan Dok

The Wat Suan Dok is located about one kilometer west of the Old Town. In addition to the 48 meter high Chedi with its golden tip, the highlight is the 4.70 meter high Buddha statue in the Ubosot.

The Chedis of the Wat Suan Dok

The temple is a so-called third class royal temple and there is also a school for monks on the grounds. You can often meet monks here. A very popular temple with tourists, which is also a part of many tours, but still definitely worth a visit.

Opening times: 6.00 A.M. to 5.00 P.M.
Admission: 40 baht (for the main building)

9. Wat Phra Singh

The Wat Phra Singh is a first-class royal temple located in the Old Town of Chiang Mai. It is one of the most famous temples in the city and almost everyone will visit it while in Chiang Mai.

You can spend some time on the grounds and see many buildings, a Chedi and statues of Buddha. Especially beautiful are the signs with various wisdoms hanging inside the temple grounds on the trees.

The reclining Buddha in the Wat Phra Singh

Tucked away in a small building behind the Chedi, you will also find a large reclining Buddha statue. In addition, many visit the “main building” of the temple, the Wihan Luang. This is the only building in which you will have to pay a small entrance fee.

Wihan Luang, Wat Phra Singh
Der Wihan Luang

The Wat Phra Singh can also be explored e.g. on a Segway tour or on a small group tour to Chiang Mai’s temples in combination with the Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Chiang Man.

Opening times: 6.00 A.M. to 5.00 P.M.
Admission: 20 baht

10. Wat Ched Yod

The Wat Ched Yod is located just outside of Chiang Mai on Highway 11 towards Lampang, but is very easy to reach by scooter or Songthaew.

The central sanctuary, called Wihan Maha Pho, is very similar to the Mahabodhi Temple and you can spot a few Indian influences here.

Originally there were 7 different Chedis on site. Each of them was built for one special event, which is said, according to Thai Buddhist legends, have taken place after Buddha’s enlightenment. Today you almost only see ruins of the Chedis. A very nice temple and somehow it reminds us of Ayutthaya.

The Tilokarat-Chedi in the Wat Ched Yod
The Tilokarat-Chedi

Opening times: 5.00 A.M. to 5.00 P.M.
Admission: free of charge

Plan your trip to Chiang Mai now

More hotel recommendations for Chiang Mai:

Have you been to Chiang Mai with its countless temples? Which is your favorite one or do you maybe have another tip? Leave us a comment below!

Photos: Photo 1 (hotel recommendation): T-Heritage Hotel